Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (U.C. Berkeley). My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ My author website is here: www.terikanefield.com/ Mar. 28, 2019 3 min read

(Thread) Trump, the ACA, and Sadopopulism

The Trump administration is backing the full elimination of the Affordable Care Act:
@JoyAnnReid, maybe it isn’t spite.

Maybe it's what Yale prof. @TimothyDSnyder calls Sadopopulism.

"What the heck is that?" you ask? . . .

1/ Snyder talks about sadopopulism here:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOjJtEkKMX4 

Sadopopulism explains how oligarchy—those who seek to have both power and wealth—stay in power.

It works like this: Sadopopulist leaders enact policies designed to inflict suffering on the people . . .

2/ Policies such as tax cuts for the rich and eliminating health insurance for millions of Americans creates an abundance of suffering.

The leader directs that suffering into anger at the "enemies" (immigrants, minorities, migrants seeking asylum, Democrats, etc."

3/ If the GOP repeals Obamacare, 21 million Americans could lose health insurance👇
 https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/26/health/obamacare-trump-health.html 
Think how many families this will hurt.
When families can't afford the medical bills, they'll be thrown into poverty.
Loved ones will die unnecessarily.

4/ Trump then channels all that suffering into anger at immigrants, minorities, and the Democrats who champion their rights.

See how clever this is? Trump enacts legislation that (1) makes him richer, (2) hurts his constituents and (3) keeps his base enraged.

5/ When the people are suffering, he consoles them by promising that he is hurting their enemies.

He's the strongman protecting them from minorities who are displacing them and beggars at the gates who want to take what they have.

6/ NYT reporter Maggie Haggerman explained that Trump’s base “thrills at his fights with the establishment, seeing him as warrior against self-satisfied elites who look down on many Americans.”
 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/22/us/politics/trump-two-years.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage 

Yup. "Many Americans" = Whites who feel dispossessed.

7/ What Snyder is suggesting there is that the repeal of Obamacare isn't spite.

The repeal of Obamacare part of a larger pattern of policies and legislation specifically designed to inflict suffering on the very people who put Trump into office.

8/ Just before the 2016 midterm elections, Trump tweeted this:

Now that it's clear the Trump administration is working to repeal all parts of the ACA, you might expect his base to dislike discovering that he lied to them.

Nope. They don't mind at all!

9/ Here's the part that is just as bizarre as the effectiveness of sadopopopulism: Trump’s base loves it when he lies.

Scholars Hahl, Kim, and Sivan, in “The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue” explain why Trump’s base loves it when he lies.
 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0003122417749632 

10/ The authors explain that those who want to destroy the political establishment enthusiastically embrace a “lying demagogue” because they know that the lies are destructive and they want to be destructive.
 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0003122417749632 

11/ The reason: They believe the establishment puts the needs of others ahead them, the “real Americans."

The best explanation for why Trump’s supporters not only accept but actually cheer his lies comes from Hannah Arendt’s the Origins of Totalitarianism.

12/ When a demagogue’s followers learn that he has lied, “instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.”
H/t @jenmercieca

13/ If Trump’s supporters believe that this👇 lie tricked people into voting Republican, they’ll cheer the lie.


They will cheer—even though many of them will suffer when Trump makes it harder for them to get health care.

14/ They cheer as Trump and his inner circle enrich themselves at their expense.

They cheer the strongman who hurts them and who lies to them because they think he's "protecting them" and hurting their enemies more.

There you have it, folks: Sadopopulism.

Adding: Thank you for posting this article, @SBfut3
I thought of this headline as I was posting this thread.  https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/1/8/18173678/trump-shutdown-voter-florida 

end/

I'm adding this for the people who are saying that Sadopopulism=fascism.

Nope. There's solid evidence that the Nazis redistributed much of their plunder to the German people. 20th century fascists thus differ from the 21st century variety . . .

. . . in key ways. Modern oligarchs want to be billionaires AND powerful.  https://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-Beneficiaries-Plunder-Racial-Welfare/dp/0805087265 

I often apply "fascism" to what we're seeing today, but there are distinctions between 20th and 21st century fascists.

The concept of Sadopopulism captures the distinction.


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